Rosa’s mother had cancer and couldn’t work. Rosa, only 11, helped by taking care of her younger sister and brother. Her overwhelmed single mother often barked at Rosa and rarely showed her any affection. St. Vincent de Paul sent Rosa for free to its Circle V Camp in the mountains north of Santa Barbara. During camp, over the next three summers, the staff became the loving “parents” that Rosa always dreamed were possible. “Even when our hearts remain guarded from our wounds,” Rosa wrote, “camp teaches us how to form confidence and trust.” For the first time, Rosa experienced a stable environment, nourishing food and fun activities - and a chance just to be a kid. “I hope to be a counselor someday,” Rosa said, “I want to help change young children’s lives, like camp has changed mine.”
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